Big news erupted in 2013 when a cute, furry animal, the olinguito, was revealed to the world. It was the first species discovered in 35 years from the raccoon family. The olingo, a relative of the olinguito, triggered the search for the olinguito. They live in the cloud forests of the Andes in South America. Kristofer Helgen, a scientist, discovered these fuzzy furballs.
Prior to his discovery, people brought olingo pelts for him and the other scientists to study. One pelt caught his eye. Not brown and soft like olingo fur, it was orange and fuzzy. Its tail was longer, too. Plus, the skull was different. Kristofer got goose bumps. He was excited!!!
Had he discovered a new species?
It would take 10 more years of research to find out. The pelt was labeled #66753. He took DNA from pelt #66753 and took DNA from an olingo. It was different!! He was ecstatic. He called the new animal olinguito which means little olingo because it was smaller and looked like an olingo.
But, were there any olinguitos left in the wild?
Before telling the world that he had discovered a new species, he heard a story. Ringerl, a female olingo, was brought to the zoo hoping she would find an olingo mate. She refused to mate with any. They brought her to 4 different zoos, and she still wouldn’t. He took the DNA of her and it matched to pelt #66753’s DNA. But, that was 30 years ago. Could these animals still be living?
Finally, they found a living olinguito!!!
The locals had rarely seen them, but when they did they called it “Night Monkey”. It was confirmed the olinguito was a new species.
Fun Facts About the Olinguito
Olinguitos build nests to sleep in.
Baby olinguitos stay in the nest for a month.
Once the babies are 2 months, they ride on their mothers back till they can climb and walk.
A mother olinguito usually has one baby at a time. They are mostly born in March and February.
Their long tail, which is a little longer than them, can work as a blanket to curl up at night in and hang.
Baby olinguitos are about the size of a kitten and look adorable!!
If you would like to learn more about olinguitos, you may enjoy these books!
Mardi Gras is coming up soon! We have the king cake which our grandparents sent to us.
The cake is half eaten already. No one has gotten the golden baby. I will make a post about the golden baby once someone gets it. The tradition is whoever gets the golden baby has to throw the next Mardi Gras party. My brother, John, has gotten the baby 2 years in a row.
Also, Mardi Gras is called “Shrove Tuesday” or “Fat Tuesday”!
Mardi Gras was started when the French landed in New Orleans in 1699. They celebrated and called the spot, Point Du Mardi Gras.
Now the tradition goes on every year. People have a party and eat the king cake! Mardi Gras is in about 11 days. Have a FUN Mardi Gras day!!!
At sailing, we adventured on a big keelboat because the winds were too strong for the little boats. There were two floors. The first floor is where you walk in. It is the deck. The bottom floor has 2 sofas, 2 beds, 1 seat, and storage compartments. When we were in the ocean, our boat started rocking like crazy! It was very fun like a roller coaster. Some kids didn’t like it. One of them even started to cry!
About 5 minutes after we turned around, we got stuck inmud! The place with mud should have been marked, but it wasn’t. A worker from the Newport Seabase came to try to get us out, but that did not work.
We had to call the Coast Guard so all the kids could get off. The reason was because we needed the boat to be lighter. Luckily, they got us out and “We lived happily ever after”.